Over at the Herald, I wrote a piece on saints who could be models for the green movement, even if they didn't intend to be.
I share with Pope Francis a devotion to the Little Flower and St Francis who had a great role in the formation of my favourite saint, St Anthony.
I don't, however, subscribe to climate change theories and so I am at odds with Pope Francis here.
But even if I did agree with the Pope on 'human induced climate change', it is still a cause for great concern that Hans Joachim Schellnhuber is so close to the Holy Father and exerts such an influence on His Holiness. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber is pro-population control. William Oddie's latest piece raises a disturbing issue, regarding Hans Joachim Schellnhuber's views on educating young girls to use contraception so that they may have smaller numbers of children and thus limit population growth. I would go one step further than William Oddie and say that Schellnhuber does not state any opposition to abortifaciant contraception. It does seem contradictory that Pope Francis's encyclical Laudato Si' denounces abortion, yet gives a seat at the table to Schellnhuber who shows no opposition to abortifacient contraception.
The Holy Father is from a family of five children. He is the first born and is very close to his youngest sister, who is number five. I doubt that Schellnhuber has been so crass as to suggest to the Holy Father that his mother, Regina Bergoglio had too many children in having a metric half-dozen. Oh, silver tongued Schellnhuber would never raise a point so close to home, he's too clever for that. Such a personal and even rude assertion might anger the Holy Father and mean that Schellnhuber would be shown the door, thus limiting his public platform that he uses to place the responsibility for population growth on the shoulders of women who we must 'educate' so that they don't reproduce so much.
I have thought very carefully before writing the next part, and have debated with myself as to whether it is rude or crass, or if I'm crossing the line to the commentators who endlessly pick at the Holy Father. Bear with me, because I would like to raise a question. Maybe it is not my place to raise this question, being an ordinary lay-woman who has always supported the Holy Father. But why is His Holiness happy to bolster the career of Schellnhuber who chauvinistically opines that millions of ordinary women should have less children?
I hold that it is my place to ask such a question. Let me explain: I am certainly not a feminist, but I am one of those ordinary women in my child-bearing years, who is the target of Schellnhuber's number one solution for reducing the population: controlling women and teaching that women's fertility is the enemy of the earth. The Holy Father may not agree with Schellnhuber on the point that women must be trained to have less children, but in not clearly articulating where he does not agree with Schellnhuber, there is no stopping Catholic women becoming targets of green chauvinism.
Precisely because I am one of Pope Francis' flock and I would like to think that his fatherly care to all women who follow him would extend to decrying the means of population control extolled by Schellnhuber which works on the basis of making women feel guilty for having the reproductive system that bears babies.
Perhaps I'm in good company, Pope Paul VI was the first to argue that contraception would be used as a coercive force in Humanae Vitae and Pope St John Paul II's encyclical Evangelium Vitae developed many of the points made by Paul VI in the light of the events of more modern times.
PS - LMS Chairman, Joe Shaw has a post on 'the contraceptive mentality'
where he explains that a married couple's intention not to have any children (while still having a sexual relationship within marriage) is contrary to the vocation of marriage. Maybe I should have written, "marriage", because it is grounds for annulment when two people go through a marriage ceremony and become "married" while all the while having no intention of *trying* to have a baby.